Denmark’s football team returned to the field on Monday, practicing for the first time since the shock collapse of teammate Kristian Eriksson during a match on Saturday. But the players did so amid mounting criticism of the team’s decision to restart Euro 2020 matches just an hour after Ericsson. Life saving treatment received on the field After his heart stopped.
When players from the Danish team and their opponents from Finland returned to the field on Saturday, it was widely reported that they had chosen to do so.
But players on Monday disputed the simple explanation given by the tournament’s organiser, UEFA, and said they were put in an impossible position: to resume play that day, or return the next day to complete it. .
“We were all about to lose a friend and a teammate,” Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite said. “There were a lot of players who were unable to play. We were in a bad place. At least we made the worst decision. “
Ericsson, one of Denmark’s stars, fell on the field late in the first half of the game against Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. He lost consciousness and received on-field treatment, including CPR. Many people prayed as they stood in a circle to protect Ericsson from view. Some wiped away tears.
Ericsson was pulled off the field on a stretcher and appeared to be conscious. The game was put on hold, and there was talk of a postponement of the evening game between Belgium and Russia as well.
But then, to the surprise of many, the resumption of the game was announced after a delay of two hours. UEFA, the governing body of European football, where the verdict came “Following the request made by the players of both the teams.” Finland beat Denmark 1–0 with a header in the second half.
But on Monday Danish players and staff members said the reality is far less straightforward.
“We were put in a position that I personally think we shouldn’t have been in,” said goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. said.
“Perhaps it was necessary that someone told over us that this is not the time to make a decision and maybe wait for the next day,” he said.
Braithwaite said: “We had two options from UEFA: going out and playing the match immediately or playing the next day in the afternoon. Neither of those options was good. We took the lesser of two evils.”
Coach Kasper Hjulmond said the team had decided it was useless to face the prospect of a return the next day.
“Players imagine not being able to sleep tonight and then getting on the bus and coming back tomorrow,” Hujulmand told reporters After Saturday’s game. “Honestly it was best to end it.”
Peter Schmeichel, a former Danish goalkeeper and Casper’s father, has disputed UEFA’s portrayal of players as insisting on playing.
“I know that must not be true,” he said.good morning uk“Did they have a choice? I don’t think they had.”
UEFA said the tournament’s tight schedule required a quick fix. Denmark’s next game was Thursday, but the Finns had to travel to Russia and prepare for a game on Wednesday afternoon.
UEFA said in a statement: “UEFA is sure that it has treated this matter with the utmost respect for the sensitive situation and the players.” “The decision to restart the match was taken only after both the teams requested to end the game on the same evening. Players needing 48 hours of rest between matches eliminated other options.
Ericsson, 29, remains in a stable condition at a hospital in Copenhagen on Monday. The players said he has spoken to his teammates and is said to be in good spirits.
“I have no doubt that we will see something special in Parken on Thursday,” Braithwaite told reporters. “Not only from the players but from the whole crowd. It’s something I’ve been waiting for. And I’m sure I’ll use that as an inspiration to go out and play for Christian.